The Federal Trade Commission has announced that it has filed false advertising charges against the makers of “Your Baby Can Read!” You might remember the name as they marketed their product heavily in infomercials and on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook. The “Your Baby Can Read!” program was touted by its makers as allowing children as young as nine months to read through the use of videos, flash cards, and pop-up books. The product was priced around $200 and according to the FTC, “was purchased by parents and grandparents of children age three months to five years since at least 2008.”
The complaint states that the defendant failed to provide “competent and reliable scientific evidence” that babies using the program “can learn to read or that children as young as three or four can learn to read books like Charlotte’s Web or Harry Potter” as claimed in one thirty minute infomercial.
The company has entered into a settlement with the FTC that imposes a $185 million judgment, which equals the amount of gross sales from the product since 2008. In addition, the settlement prevents Your Baby Can Read from “misrepresenting the benefits, performance, or efficacy of any product or service for teaching reading or speech, or enhancing language ability, cognitive ability, school performance, or brain development.” The settlement even bans the company from using the product name.
You can read more about the FTC complaint and the settlement here.